With states like Karnataka and Delhi seeking more oxygen supply quota from the Centre, hospital beds are full with Covid-19 patients. Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal claimed on Friday that the oxygen supply position in the capital has improved. But many hospitals still face shortage of ICU beds and ventilators.
The spread of the pandemic clearly indicates that states in southern, western and northern regions are facing the full brunt of the second wave. By Thursday night, 16.48 crore Indians were administered Covid vaccine doses, but this cumulative total is very small compared to India’s population.
The Centre on Wednesday said the UK variant of Coronavirus is declining in proportion across India, but the double mutant variant, found in Maharashtra, is the main cause for the current surge in Covid-19 cases.
It is true that the nationwide vaccination drive is now going at a very slow price due to depleting stocks. But make no mistake: Covid vaccination of people on a massive scale will be the only protection from, if God forbid, a deadly third wave of the pandemic.
Hospitals in Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and other adjoining states continue to face critical shortage of oxygen, despite nationwide logistics for airlifting oxygen tankers and sending oxygen containers by railway. Private hospitals in Delhi, Meerut and other cities continue to send SOS saying their oxygen supply was tapering off.
The vaccination drive in the US was carried out in three phases – first, for the 60-plus age group, second, for the 45-plus age group, and third, for the 18-plus age group. People came forward in large numbers to get themselves vaccinated. There were no legal hassles, and even illegal migrants staying in the US got vaccinated.
Russia is going to provide 85 crore Sputnik V doses, according to some news reports. The Russian Direct Investment Fund has entered into contracts with five Indian companies for manufacturing 85 crore doses of the vaccine.
From Lucknow, we showed visuals of an ambulance driver giving oxygen to his mother, who had worked as health worker for 30 years, outside the famous KGMU hospital. The son was waiting for instructions from Covid Command Centre for admission of his ailing mother.
Relatives of Covid patients are being forced to buy vital medicines in black market, there are long queues for lab tests, oxygen cylinders and ventilators are not available. There was this heart wrenching video of a four-year-old boy pushing a stretcher carrying his father, while his mother was dragging the stretcher from the other hand, inside a hospital. There were no ward boys to help.
Let me tell you: Do not fear at all. If you have mild Covid systems, you can recover easily while staying inside your homes by taking medicines on doctors’ advice.
Looking at the massive wartime like efforts launched by Prime Minister Modi to beat the oxygen shortage, I am confident that one will soon find light at the end of this dark tunnel, that has engulfed our nation.
C-17 and IL-76 transport aircrafts of the Indian Air Force have started airlifting big oxygen containers to filling stations across India to speed up distribution of medical oxygen. IAF pilots are working against time to reach deadlines so that sick patients, in dire need of oxygen can be saved.
It took only 17 days for the daily Covid count to jump from 1 lakh on April 4 to thrice that number now. The pandemic is spreading so fast that in many families, most of the members have been tested positive.
From May 1, the vaccination drive will begin on a war footing in India. Like Israel, which has vaccinated more than half of its population and has allowed the opening of schools and lifting of restrictions on wearing masks, a day will come soon, when we, in India, will be doing the same.
On Monday, the Centre announced that all Indians above the age of 18 years will now be eligible to get Covid vaccines from May 1.
Meanwhile, the Kumbh Mela continues in Haridwar, despite Prime Minister Narendra Modi making a special plea to the sadhus to call off the remaining 'snans' and make the Kumbh Mela symbolic this time.
Fourteen states and union territories recorded their highest ever tally on Thursday, with Maharashtra leading by 61,695 cases, Uttar Pradesh 22,439 cases, Chhattisgarh 15,256 cases, Karnataka 14,738 cases, Madhya Pradesh 10,168 cases and Gujarat 8,152 cases. Delhi recorded 16,699 cases.
The daily case count has doubled in the last 10 days, from more than 1 lakh on April 4 to more than 2 lakh today. It took 21 days for the United States to reach the 2-lakh milestone, but the surge in India has been faster.
A total of more than 1,000 Covid-related deaths took place on Tuesday alone across India. The daily casualty figure crossed 1,000 for the first time since October 2 when the first wave was at its peak.
With most of the hospitals in pandemic-hit states almost full with Covid-19 patients, reports are pouring in from different states of bodies piling up in morgues and crematoriums.